Neverwinter Nights 2 - Warlock Guide
v1.1
PrettyLumiere
Lumiere-chan@hotmail.com

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reproduced on other works, provided proper acknowledgement 
is given.

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pretty high tolerance for abuse, but please don't test 
it....

Table of Contents
-----------------
I.	Introduction
II.	Caveats
III.	Which race?
IV.	Stats
V.	Feats to get
VI.	How do invocations work?
VII.	Invocations (blast shapes and essences)
VIII.	Invocations (non-blast shape modifier)
IX.	Skills to get
X.	Thoughts on multiclassing
XI.	Equipment
XII.	Final words

I.  Introduction
----------------
I'm going to start this by a big bashing of the warlock 
class, and it's not going to be pretty.

The warlock class in Neverwinter Nights 2 is, in my 
opinion, a class they made for storyline purposes.  It's 
not a particularly effective class in any way, shape, or 
form.

If you want a good analogy with other classes, take the 
sorcerer, give him/her half the spells, but allow them to 
cast the spells as many times as they want.  However, now 
make their spells deal less than half damage, and you have 
a warlock.  A warlock is in no way more resilient than the 
sorcerer or the wizard, despite what the manual says (and 
let's not forget the rampant errors in the manual).  In 
fact, in my experience, I've found that sorcerers and 
wizards are a lot more resilient, at least in the beginning 
of the game.

Basically, don't use your warlock to fight Lorne in the OC.  
It simply does not work.

Now, for the good news.  If you're patient enough to get 
your warlock powerful enough to use the dark invocations, 
you now have a character that will literally stay alive a 
lot longer than any wizard or sorcerer out there, and allow 
you to do a lot more damage than most fighters out there.  
If you couple a warlock with a party full of melee units, 
you will literally sail through battles with taking very 
minimal damage.

II.  Caveats
------------

This guide assumes you are using version 1.04 or greater of 
the game.  I also don't talk about multiplayer because I 
don't play this multiplayer.

III.  Which race?
-----------------

Since the invocations are Charisma-based, you will need to 
have that as your primary stat.  Basically, any race that 
is good as a sorcerer is good for a warlock.  Also, like a 
monk, the true potential of a warlock is only realized when 
you get close to all 20 levels, so a race that has a hefty 
level adjustment is also not a good idea.  Finally, any 
race that has serious hits in Intelligence, Dexterity, or 
Constitution is also not a good choice.

a.  Humans:  They are a good choice as a warlock, and the 
extra feat, although not absolutely necessary, can be used 
for a crafting feat if you want.

b.  Planetouched:  Both the aasimar and the tieflings make 
good warlocks.  An aasimar warlock seems a bit out of 
character, but tiefling warlocks are quite in vogue (and in 
character).  The +1 level adjustment is not exactly a show-
stopper as you don't really need the last dark invocation.  
If you do play as a tiefling warlock, watch out for the -2 
Charisma modifier, although the +2 Dexterity helps.

c.  Elves:  These are kind of a mixed bag.  Almost every 
elf sub-race is playing with fire (if you'll pardon the 
pun) with making a warlock, because you have to work around 
a -2 Constitution modifier.  Remember that having more hit 
points is more important than how much dexterity you have  
The drow also has the +2 Charisma modifier, but the +2 
level adjustment offsets any advantage.

d.  Dwarves:  Shield dwarves have -2 Charisma, so they're 
out.  Gold dwarves have a -2 Dexterity, but the +2 
Constitution makes up for it, so it's a passable.  As for 
the duergar, the -4 Charisma and the +2 level adjustment 
don't make for a good warlock (or at the least, a warlock 
that is unable to cast the needed dark invocations).

e.  Half-elves:  Treat as a human without the extra feat, 
which makes them acceptable.

f.  Gnomes:  Rock gnomes have +2 Constitution, but -2 
Strength, plus the fact that they can't carry as much 
weight.  If you do choose this subrace, buy lots of magic 
bags to hold stuff.  Svirfneblins are not acceptable for 
the same reason as duergars are (-4 Charisma, +3 level 
adjustment).

g.  Halflings:  Both halfling subclasses make acceptable 
warlocks like rock gnomes, but they do suffer from the same 
problem of not being able to carry lots of stuff.  Again, 
buy lots of magic bags.

h.  Half-orcs:  The 2 Charisma AND Intelligence hurts a 
lot.  You need a lot of the skills that are available to a 
warlock, or else it's not going to be very fun.

IV.  Stats
----------

As I mentioned previously, Charisma is your main stat and 
most of your points should be there.

Strength:  This stat is not really important because you do 
not need a high attack bonus to hit an enemy with the 
eldritch blasts that are ranged touch attacks.  However, it 
does get annoying when you pick up some nice armor and all 
of a sudden you can't run.  I suggest keeping this stat at 
10 or 11, and just leave it there.

Dexterity:  This is the second most important stat.  Since 
you will be wearing light armor (NOT medium armor unless if 
you're multiclassing, which I will explain later why), 
having a high Dexterity score will boost your AC even 
higher.  Having a high AC is good for a warlock as you will 
often be casting your invocations at pretty close range.  I 
suggest keeping this stat at around 13-14.  You should 
probably not add to this stat when you get the chance to 
during level up; you should instead find items that boost 
this.

Constitution:  Yes, you have a d6 hit point die.  No, it 
does not make a whit of difference compared to a sorcerer 
or a wizard.  This score, however, does make a difference.  
I suggest leaving this at 12 at character creation.  If you 
leave it lower, be prepared to die a lot.  (This also makes 
elves very unattractive warlocks.)

Intelligence:  Set this score to about 12 as well.  
Warlocks have a lot of nice skills that will need plenty of 
points.

Wisdom:  Set this stat to anywhere from 8-10.  You don't 
need this stat for anything useful.

Charisma:  Get this as high as you can.  I prefer starting 
out with about 18 Charisma base, and just keep adding to it 
during levelups when I can add them.

V.  Feats to get
----------------

As a warlock, there are not a lot of feats that you don't 
get by default that you can really use.  The ones that are 
the most important that you must get are:

a.  Combat Casting  Remember that it is not practical to 
expect a warlock to always cast invocations far away from 
enemies.  This helps considerably in not having your 
invocations being interrupted.

b.  Spell Penetration  Invocations are subject to spell 
resistance checks.  You don't want your Wall of Perilous 
Flame to not work when you really need it, right?

c.  Greater Spell Penetration  I rather not gamble with my 
chances of invocations being resisted.

d.  Toughness  Extra hit points makes for a happy warlock.

e.  Skill Focus (Concentration)  Again, we are talking 
about practical issues here.  Never expect to be 
uninterrupted while casting.  This will help considerably.

The ones you should NEVER get:

a.  Any spell focus feat.  My main problem is that you 
cannot counterspell with warlocks, so those are only good 
if you want to see what spells other spell casters are 
casting.

b.  Battle Caster.  Since you don't get Medium Armor 
Proficiency for free as a warlock, this feat is kind of 
useless.  I rather spend my feats on things that help me in 
other ways or on crafting feats.  There is one exception to 
this that will be mentioned later (in the multiclassing 
section).

c.  Medium Armor Proficiency.  Don't get this unless if 
fall under the one exception for Battle Caster.

d.  Any weapon feat.  You're not going to be using your 
weapons to kill things.  You're going to be using your 
invocations to kill things.  

Besides from these, the remaining feat slots can be filled 
with what suits you the best.  You could probably use one 
of the feat slots for the crafting feat of your choice.

VI.  How do invocations work?
-----------------------------

Let's set aside the "lore" of how a warlock gets 
invocations and go down to the nitty-gritty on how an 
invocation works.

An invocation has the following properties:
1.  You may use them as many times as you want.
2.  Invocations have either a somatic or verbal component, 
or both.  Therefore, if you are silenced, certain 
invocations cannot be cast.
3.  Invocations cannot be used with metamagic.
4.  Certain invocations can be used alone, but others must 
be used in conjunction with an eldritch blast.  The blast 
shape invocations and eldritch essence invocations must be 
used with an eldritch blast.

The invocations that can be used alone are the low-damage, 
status-affecting buffs and dispels that you will typically 
use.  For example, Retributive Invisibility, Beguiling 
Influence, and Wall of Perilous Flame are examples of this 
type of invocation.

However, your main source of damage comes from eldritch 
blasts.  By default, if you cast an eldritch essence 
invocation, you would cast an eldritch blast that is 
modified by the eldritch essence.  The default eldritch 
blast hits one enemy only.

You can modify the blast by adding a blast shape.  A blast 
shape invocation is an eldritch blast that has a different 
shape/characteristic to it, which may allow you to hit more 
targets.  Since the blast shape is an eldritch blast, you 
can modify blast shapes with eldritch essences.

VII.  Invocations (blast shapes and essences)
---------------------------------------------

For discussion of invocations, I'm going to split them up 
between blast shape/eldritch essences (since they 
intrinsically go together), and invocations not involving 
blash shapes/essences.

Least Invocations (Blast Shapes):  One of them is 
worthless, and one of them is useful.

Hideous Blow  this blast shape is worthless.  If you 
didn't have to recast it every time you hit a melee attack, 
this one might actually be useful.  The trouble you incur 
with this shape makes it not worth it for actual use.

Eldritch Spear  I recommend getting this as one of the 
first invocations that you get.  This extends the range of 
an eldritch blast (to 250 feet according to the 
description).  It's not that impressive considering you 
really can't tell how far is 250 feet in game, but if you 
can nail someone from really far away several times before 
they get into range of the other blast shapes, you make 
your job a lot easier in the earlier stages of the OC.  
However, later on, this loses effectiveness as you get 
eldritch chain later on.

Least Invocations (Essences):  Another worthless one and 
another good one.

Draining Blast  this is a good essence to use in the 
beginning and it's probably the second invocation that I 
get.  What this does is if you hit, the monster must pass a 
Fortitude check.  If the check fails, the monster is 
slowed.  The slower the monster, the more blasts you can 
throw out and the faster you can get to a more defensible 
position.

Frightful Blast  I don't like this essence because it 
isn't as useful.  I rather not have to chase after monsters 
because they're afraid (and risk running into a trap).

Lesser Invocations (Blast Shapes):  The only new blast 
shape you get with this level of invocation is probably the 
one you'll use the most through the game.

Eldritch Chain  This blast shape starts out rather 
modestly.  It has the range of a regular eldritch blast, 
but after it hits your intended target, it will randomly 
blast a random being that is within 30 feet from you.  It 
means that you have the potential of hitting two enemies.  
At warlock level 10, this is extended to three enemies, 
four enemies at level 15, and five enemies at level 20.  If 
you miss any of the enemies, the chain stops.  This isn't 
as much of a trouble as you may think because by the time 
you get to a higher level, you should rarely be missing 
with your ranged touch attacks.  Get this as soon as you 
have access to the lesser invocations.

Lesser Invocations (Essences):  These aren't 
disappointments, but you won't be using one of them very 
long.

Hellrime Blast(a.k.a. the ice blast)  This essence does 
two things.  One, it modifies your eldritch blast to do 
cold damage.  Two, it makes everyone you hit do a Fortitude 
check or take a -4 penalty to Dexterity.  It's 
indispensable when you have to fight against a lot of 
rogues (basically when you get into Neverwinter in the OC), 
but after that, you'll rarely use it.  

Brimstone Blast(a.k.a. the fire blast)  Take your eldritch 
blast, make it do fire damage, AND make them burn with fire 
afterwards.  This will be the primary essence you'll use 
until you get access to the greater invocations.

Beshadowed Blast  This is a nice blast to have under 
certain circumstances.  I don't use this blast because 
putting opponents in darkness is not the way I play, but 
there are potential uses for it.

Greater Invocations (Blast Shapes):  The only new blast 
shape you get with this level of invocation is useful... 
until you get access to the dark invocations.

Eldritch Cone  This blast shape says what you think it 
says.  Your blast is now in the shape of a cone.  It's okay 
in certain situations, but it has been my experience that 
enemies don't like attacking you in a way that you will be 
using this very often.  I would recommend getting this as 
soon as you have access to it, but dropping it once you get 
Eldritch Doom.

Greater Invocations (Essences):  Again, we have a nice set 
of essences; choose one depending on how you play.

Vitrolic Blast(a.k.a. the acid blast)  Take the Brimstone 
Blast, but make it acid damage.  In addition, make it 
impossible to counter with spell resistance.  Once you get 
this, you will end up using this over the Brimstone Blast 
in most cases.  

Noxious Blast  Take your eldritch blast, make it daze 
people.  I typically don't use this, but if you like being 
support, this is a great one to use.

Dark Invocations (Blast Shapes):  This is one good reason 
why you want to be a pure warlock (or as close to it as you 
can).

Eldritch Doom  This blast shape is simple.  Target where 
you want the blast to hit.  Everything within a certain 
radius is hit.  The radius isn't as big as a Fireball or a 
Chain Lightning spell, but it's more than adequate for your 
needs.

Dark Invocations (Essences):  This is a disappointment in 
the OC, maybe not for multiplayer purposes.

Utterdark Blast  If you hit with this one, the target 
takes negative energy damage and drains levels.  It sounds 
nice, but by the time you can get this in the OC, just 
about every enemy uses this to heal.  It probably works a 
lot better in a multiplayer situation.  

VII.  Invocations (non-blast shapes or essences)
------------------------------------------------
These function like your typical spell.  As invocations, 
you may cast these as many times as you wish.  Most of 
these are supporting spells that make your work a lot 
easier.

Least Invocations:  A really nice array of things to choose 
from.  Some of them aren't very useful; others make your 
life so much easier.

Beguiling Influence  Get this one if you have points in 
Intimidate (which is what I usually do).  I like talking my 
way out of situations, so this is a nice thing to get.  
Even if you don't, this is useful for boosting Diplomacy 
(good) and Bluff (kind of worthless).

Dark One's Own Luck  Useful in the beginning, not so 
useful in the end.  I usually either get this or Beguiling 
Influence.

Darkness  Uhh, no thanks.  This tends to be a frame-rate 
killer.

Devil's Sight  This has limited usefulness, but if you 
really wanted what this invocation gives you, play as an 
Elf, but that's really not a good idea, eh?

Entropic Warding  I like this one.  I usually replace 
Draining Blast with this invocation later in the game, and 
watch as the archers have trouble with you as you kill them 
with an eldritch chain.  It doesn't last that long, but 
remember that you can recast it and it does last long 
enough for you to do your business.

Leaps and Bounds  Don't get this even if you have put 
points in Tumble.  It's not a high enough boost that would 
make it useful.

Seen the Unseen  I don't recommend this as you'll get 
things in the OC that give True Seeing.

Lesser Invocations:  Not as good of a selection, but a 
couple of them are useful.

Charm  No thanks, I'm not out to convert people.  I rather 
summon my own skeletons.

Curse of Despair  Hmm... do those score reductions really 
do THAT much over a battle?  Skip this one.

The Dead Walk  In the OC, just let Ammon Jerro use it.  If 
you're not in the OC, this is an okay one to get; just drop 
Brimstone Blast or Voracious Dispelling for this.

Voracious Dispelling  Get this one later on in the game.  
It's a good dispelling invocation; the times which you need 
to dispel things aren't that frequent, though.  The damage 
you do on the dispelled creatures doesn't hurt, anyway.

Walk Unseen  You're not a rogue.  No thanks.

Greater Invocations:  Now we're coming to the really 
offensive invocations.  You only need one of the offensive 
ones, though.

Chilling Tentacles:  Get either this one or Wall of 
Perilous Flame.  I prefer Wall of Perilous Flame myself, 
but this is a good choice too.

Devour Magic:  This is an upgraded version of Voracious 
Dispelling.  You can get this; just drop Eldritch Cone.  I 
personally find Voracious Dispelling enough for my 
purposes, though.

Tenacious Plague:  This one tends to be a wildcard.  Get it 
if you want; you'll probably find uses for it that I 
couldn't find.

Wall of Perilous Flame:  One of my very favorites; this is 
the 3rd greater invocation that I get.  You can pretty much 
single-handedly do the last part of the Crossroad Keep 
siege with this and Eldritch Doom.  What's even better, the 
magical damage this does (not the fire damage portion) 
cannot be resisted without spell resistance.

Dark Invocations:  When they said warlocks were more 
resilient than sorcerers or wizards, they must have been 
talking about one of the invocations here.

Dark Foresight  Once you get access to dark invocations, 
GET THIS FIRST.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  Have this hotkeyed at all 
times.  This gives 10/adamantine damage reduction (not 
30/adamantine as in the manual) with a pool of 10 points 
per warlock level.  This is basically the Stoneskin spell, 
but you can cast this as many times as you want, unlike 
sorcerers or wizards.  This is what will allow you to cast 
your eldritch blasts with impunity.

Retributive Invisibility  Don't get this for the 
retributive part.  Get it for the invisibility (which isn't 
broken by invocations or attacking).  It only lasts 3 
rounds, which is a handicap, but you just need to recast 
this, anyway.

Word of Changing  I got this, and it's almost totally 
worthless.  Avoid this at all costs.

IX.  Skills to get
------------------
If you went with my suggestion of 12 INT, you should have 3 
points to use per level.  I used it on Concentration, 
Intimidate, and Lore, plus one point in Use Magic Device.

Consider getting the following:

Concentration  This is a no-brainer.  Don't blame me if 
you fail to put points in it and have your invocations 
interrupted.

Intimidate  I like talking my way out of battles.  
Diplomacy would have worked better for my style of playing, 
but it's a cross-class skill for warlocks, and this isn't.

Lore  I don't like having to go to shop to identify stuff, 
and I rather not shuffle things around to someone who can 
identify stuff.

Use Magic Device  Just get one point in this.  This with 
Deceive Item will allow you to use most things out there 
for wizards and sorcerers.  If you need more points in 
this, take them out of Lore or Intimidate.

Tumble  If you don't get Intimidate, consider putting it 
into this cross-class skill.  In that case, you'll end up 
getting the Leaps and Bounds invocation as well.

Spellcraft - If you're taking the character to the
expansion pack, Spellcraft is required.  If not, you can
leave this alone.  If you do take this skill, raise your
starting INT to 14 so you can take this.

X.  Thoughts on multiclassing
------------------------------

Let's talk about minor multiclassing.  The warlock is 
almost worthless as a minor multiclass character because 
warlock levels don't count as arcane caster levels, and 
simply said, warlocks aren't very powerful in the 
beginning.

Minor multiclasses that might work is Rogue 19/Warlock 1 or 
Ranger 19/Warlock 1 or Monk 19/Warlock 1 to get Leaps and 
Bounds (for the +4 DEX and +4 Tumble).

As for major multiclasses with warlock as the dominant 
class, remember that the warlock's power and resilience 
comes by having access to the dark invocations.  It's 
usually best to go pure warlock, but if you're willing to 
drop one dark invocation and the additional energy 
resistance, you can go Warlock 19/Fighter 1 or Warlock 
19/Barbarian 1 to get medium armor proficiency and martial 
weapon proficiency for free.  If you do this, be sure to 
get the Battle Caster feat. 

XI.  Equipment
--------------
There's a dearth of good warlock-only equipment in the OC.  
As NWN2 relies on crafting skills for good armor and 
equipment, I suggest focusing on your armor class when 
choosing equipment.  What I did was take the leather armor 
that I got at the very beginning, and upgrading it to +5 
enhancement, 30/- cold resistance, and 30/- fire 
resistance.

As for weapons, use whatever weapon you feel is good for 
you.  I ended up using one of those nice crossbows that 
gave +DEX (to boost my armor class).

If you did the Warlock 19/Fighter 1 or Warlock 19/Barbarian 
1 multiclass, your choice of armor and weapons becomes a 
lot better.  However, warlocks aren't really designed for 
melee combat.  

XII.  Final Words
-----------------
The warlock class is a disappointment until you get to the 
later levels, when it becomes almost unstoppable.  Despite 
all the flaws, it's become one of my favorite classes to 
play, and I hope it becomes one of your favorite classes 
too.
   
~ The End ~
PrettyLumiere
March 7th, 2007